Expressions of faith: Choosing your friends wisely

Rev. Monterey D. Lee, Sr.

Positive friends are loyal friends. They’re people we can trust. And we all want to be surrounded by people we trust. “The righteous choose their friends carefully,” Proverbs 12:26.

If you are a business owner, you want to trust your employees. If you are a mother who works outside the home, you want to trust your childcare provider. Parents want to trust that their children are safe with teachers at school and even at church. Car owners want to trust that when the mechanic says that you need a new compressor, that’s really the case. Even more, we all want to trust the people who are closet to us, including: our spouses, our parents, our children, and our friends.

Trust is built on two key ingredients: honesty and dependability. As children we start out trusting everyone and anyone. We begin our lift’s journey wanting to believe that no one would purposely do us any harm. All too soon, however, we realize that trust is something we must grant to others only as they consistently display honesty and dependability. Trust is something that cannot be conferred or bought, only earned. Honesty is a rare find today. It can cost a great deal. But an honest friend is beyond worth. Honesty is a virtue that depends heavily on dependability. Look at the story of David and Jonathan and you will see what true friendship is.

Friendship often requires the kind of sacrifice that promotes trust. We know that Jonathan was required to sacrifice great personal gain on behalf of his friend David. David, meanwhile, was required to make his own sacrifice: He had to let go of past baggage that might cause him to be distrustful and place his complete trust in Jonathan. This was no easy task for David. David knew that Jonathan loved him. Jonathan had even made a covenant with him as a sign and seal of their friendship. In the covenant ceremony recorded in 1 Samuel 18:1-4, Jonathan took off his royal robe and gave it to David. After David’s defeat of the giant, Goliath, King Saul had decided to keep David on in his court. David was able to have unwavering trust in Jonathan, because his friend Jonathan would never sell him out even to King Saul. David knew that Jonathan’s eyes were on the Lord. Jonathan was honest and dependable above all to God and his friend. That enabled him to put aside personal gain in order to further God’s will for his friend David and all the people of Israel. “A friend loves at all times,” Proverbs 17:17.

Take a moment to ponder, pray, and reflect on your friendships and see if you can truly trust them.